See it, aim for it and do it. Stretch yourself and grow!

Archive for the tag “healthy-living”

Tired and Wired

Today as I was running past some fast food outlets I noticed a truck doing deliveries. It caught my attention because it was delivering one of the popular caffeinated drinks consumed by many (mostly) young people. It contains 161mg of caffeine! It made me think about how the market has driven companies to formulate these products. Society, by and large, demands that we keep up with the rat race, keep going all day, work long hours, work all week and weekend. These days we always are near some form of communication, a mobile phone, a computer, laptop or tablet, everyone can get hold of us at any time. There is an expectation to be available 24/7. So many people end up with adrenal exhaustion from stress, stress that causes a false fright or flight state, false because it becomes permanent. Then these same people need something to keep them going because the adrenal fatigue causes great tiredness and they turn to stimulants, the most prevalent being caffeine. And so they end up wired…and tired.

What would be so much more energising is allowing oneself the time to relax, go for a walk in the bush, sit by the ocean and breathe in the sea air, listen to the birds in the trees. Sleep late once a week, eat nutritious food, switch off the gadgets, don’t be available 24/7. Allow yourself to just BE ūüôā

No Matter How Slow…..

Oh my goodness! Why do all my short easy runs feel so hard? I have no problem doing the longer, or should I say mid distance runs, those 11 to 16km distances. But put me in front of an 8km or 6km and I falter. It’s really strange.

Today was an 8km easy day. It took me just over 50mins and felt like a bad day at the dentist.

I guess the upside of all of this is I have no niggles or sniffles, so all is well with my training. It must just be one of those mind things again….


My Adventure With Yasso 800’s

I don’t normally post two days in a row but¬†today’s¬†experience warranted a write up!

Today’s training session called for 14km with 4 x Yasso 800’s. The training plan I am following came out of the Runner’s World magazine, and has instructions for each type of run. I have never done Yasso 800’s before, or any kind of Yasso anything, so this was all new to me. I realised I would have to go to a track, luckily we have a very nice one,¬†thank you, here in Tauranga.

tauranga track


I realised as well that doing 4 of these Yasso 800’s meant I had to run 4.8km around and around the track. Given my boredom scale of repetitive running, I was a bit worried. The second thing that worried me was that I had to complete 2 loops of said track in 4.30 mins, as I had to run at my marathon time (I am planning a 4 1/2 hr marathon). Regardless, I am the sort of¬†person¬†who will complete a training programme almost to the letter, and it is only severe illness or perhaps loss of a limb that would stop me from doing what I have to. So I set out to do the biggest part of the run around the Waikareao Estuary (you can see the water in the photo of the track). As I trotted around I continued to feel a bit worried about my ability to complete these Yasso 800’s after running for about 8km first…at least my foot was feeling okay.

And so I reached the track. I stopped my watch and stopped running and had a look at the task ahead of me. Okay, no point wasting time, get on a marker and go, get running. And so I set off a t a colossal pace and was winded by 300m. I looked at my watch and realised I was  going way too fast and had to try for the rest of the 500m to get into a rhythm that would be sustainable and on time target. What came to my rescue was the new breathing technique, and I found that by doing the 2 in and one out breath sequence on the 800m faster loops and the 3 in and 2 out on the 400m recovery, I pretty much nailed it. I was running a little fast, but hey, I might run the marathon a bit faster that 4hr30min too! My foot did start hurting on the second 800, but after getting worse to the point I thought I would have to stop, the pain abated quite a bit and I was able to carry on. (Like I said, it would probably have to fall off!)

The best part about today’s training session was that I really enjoyed running around the track, it was something different. As I jogged back to my car I felt happy and satisfied¬†with¬†a job well done. The cherry on top was bumping into my hubby and going to the cafe for a coffee and a bite to eat. So even though today was one of those grey, cold days, I didn’t even notice! How fantastic is that!

Trying Not To Grump

It’s one of those autumn days when the¬†weather¬†changes about 52 times in an hour – sun, grey, rain, sun, grey, rain etc etc. I don’t do well with the grey bit, so the whole day I have been feeling happy, feeling grey, feeling happy, feeling grey, until I nearly drove myself silly! So I decided to do something positive, I cleared out my old financial/tax records prior to seven years ago. Doing this made me feel quite light, whether it was the activity of sorting through stuff and physically tearing papers to shreds, or just the fact that I was getting rid of things. Throwing out stuff always makes me feel lighter.

I did go for my training run this morning, 11km with 6km at marathon pace. The sun was out for most of my run and it made me feel energised, as doing some physical activity, especially in the sun, always does. But I find that for whatever reason, the¬†feeling¬†is not very long lived if the day is grey, and I soon find myself feeling grey and grumping about the place. Perhaps it’s because I am originally from Africa where it is warmer and sunnier for more of the year. I can remember having these feelings during winter over there, but that grey part of winter was never very long.

I guess in the cavemen times, people naturally slowed down and did less in the colder months, and these days we are expected to carry on regardless. Perhaps that’s why the medical world has coined all these new¬†ailments, like SAD. Perhaps we are not SAD but just in tune with the seasons and having an inner conflict with what is expected of us in this modern world. It leaves me wondering if I should slow down in the colder seasons, rest more and let my body¬†rejuvenate¬†for the spring. But that would mean no long races during winter or spring as I wouldn’t be able to put in the training needed to accomplish those goals. This year I have committed to the GC Marathon in July, so I shall soldier on, but perhaps next year, just perhaps, I may schedule my running training a little differently.


Learning To Breathe

It has been an eventful week, both running and just as a family. Not in a negative way though. My youngest daughter has been home from Uni for two weeks (we dropped her off back in¬†Auckland¬†yesterday) and my husband had a further check up with his specialist about his hip. It was great having my daughter home, and her cat was extremely happy as the two cats we have don’t really get on, so when she’s not here the other one mopes a bit. My husband is happy too, as he is now able to drive again, which makes me happy as I don’t have to a) take him everywhere and b) have him going on about my driving…..

In amongst all of this going on, I have been learning a new breathing technique which I read about in a recent issue of Runner’s World magazine. Basically it meant that I had to unlearn my previous breathing pattern of inhale for 2, out for three, 2:2 as I got faster, and 3:3 for easy runs, and start breathing in for 3 and out for 2, or 2:1, or the hardest (and I still can’t get this) 2:1:1:1. Anyway, this is too complicated to explain it all so you can read about it here. Needless to say, I have definitely noticed a difference, although it is very east to fall into my old pattern as I get tired. Which I certainly did yesterday.

My training for the GC Marathon has been going well to a point. I say this¬†because¬†I realised last week that I have been running really slowly. So I ramped it up on my 11km midweek run last week and it felt really good. Then I looked at my training schedule and realised slow was what I was supposed to have been doing, up until this week, as I was working on strength and not speed until now. Speed starts tomorrow! I find it quite amazing that I subconsciously felt it was time to go faster, even if I preempted it by a week. Maybe there’s something to be said in waiting a little longer, and I can be impatient, but then listening to your body is something I have been going on about for a while. And this leads me back to getting tired yesterday.

My long run was for 26km and seeing as we were away I decided to run from Colville to Cor0mandel.


That’s a picture of the cafe and general store. The cafe is fantastic, called The Green Snapper, and if you’re ever up there you must pop in. We went up to the bach for the weekend on the way to take my daughter back to Auckland. I logged my run on MapMyRun and you can see it here. It takes in three enormous hills that climb forever (well it felt like it to me!) and so I¬†listened¬†to my energy levels and walked when I needed to. It rained a bit on the way, nothing too bad, which was lucky as the prediction was for wild weather! I have decided that it is my last hilly long run now, as the strength phase of my training is done, and now I am going more for¬†endurance¬†and speed. The GC is a flat race and there’s nothing like the principle of specificity. Train flat for a flat race, and I plan to get in under 4:30 this time! Anyway, to get back to the breathing….I have found that done properly, this new technique has definitely helped me to feel more comfortable and dare I say it….faster. Watch this space!

Listen to your Body

Sometimes your running is not about running at all, sometimes it is a reflection of what is going on in your life.

I have just had a chat with a friend who has helped me clear up something that has been weighing me down. You see, today while I went for my run I felt heavy. I felt like I plodded, lifting my legs was hard, I felt about 10 kilos heavier than normal. It was supposed to be a short 6km easy run and when I looked at my time I was not the slowest I have been, but it felt really slow. In a nutshell, it felt laborious.

In our discussion it became clear to me that I am far too rooted in my space to allow myself to move on, and this is what I need to be doing. The interesting thing is that this rootedness stems from feeling extremely unsettled having had no clear direction for a very long time. The reasons for this are not important, what is important is that sometimes a run can reflect what is going on for you at the time, and I have been feeling heavy for quite a while, I just haven’t been listening.

So the message here is listen to your body, it is far more intuitive than you may think, and often the things you are feeling are not physical, but mental and emotional.


Never Play Catch-Up!

Today I learned a few things:

1) Listen to your gut

2) Stop when it hurts

3) Take some money with you when you go for an unsupported run


It all began when I decided to play catch-up…..

If you have been following my blog, you will know that this past week has been a bit hectic. We had two graduation ceremonies to go to in two different towns, it rained a lot, and these things led to my running schedule being affected. So I decided to cram 4 days of running at the end of the week. Thursday I ran just over 10km, Friday I ran just over 10km, Saturday I ran 6km in my new shoes AND did a strength workout, and today I attempted to run 21km. I ran 19.6km in the end….

When I was making the decision to do this catch-up thing, I had a gut feeling this was not a good idea. I did not listen Рmistake number one. Then today after running about 3km my shin started to hurt. I ignored it Рmistake number two. I continued running only to have to cut my run short, while I stretched, walked, hobbled and jogged my way home. I had no money to catch a bus back Рmistake number three.

All things¬†considered¬†the pain did start to ease after I walked for about 5 minutes, and I could jog home on my leg. It is also not too sore at the moment, after I rubbed some arnica cream into it, and did the ice thing. It is simply a strained muscle brought on by too many kilometres in too few days so tomorrow is a rest day, no running, no strength training, no anything! It will be hard to sit still, but it has to be done. Lessons learnt though……NEVER play catch-up!

Out With The Old

Yesterday I clocked 500km on my old shoes. I use a programme called logrun for tracking my training distance etc., and it came up in red on the log, bang on 500km. Fantastic timing as I had another pair on hold at the running store which I was collecting yesterday as well. I have bought a pair of Saucony Cortanas which have a 4mm drop, much like my trail shoes. They are so comfortable as they are much wider at the forefoot than the Hurricanes. And they are very bright, people shall see me coming.


I had wanted to take them for their inaugural run today, but it is raining and I don’t like getting my new shoes wet and dirty. So I am wearing them around the house until it clears up enough to take them out.

It has been rather wet here this week. After months of nothing we are having a few downpours which the dairy farmers are loving. I, on the other hand, am not loving it, even though it is good for the garden and the land, it is playing havoc with my running schedule this week. My week has been a bit all over the place due to two graduations we have had to go to. One, my daughters, was on Wednesday in Auckland and the other, my step daughters, in Hamilton on Thursday. So two days of driving and much sitting. I had hoped to get a run in before we left, on the Tuesday, but it absolutely pelted down all day, and there was no way I was going out for a run. So later in the day I settled for a Tabata workout instead. At least I got some cardio that day!

Thursday morning I managed to get in my first run since Sunday and I am having to play catch-up to get my mileage in for this week. I am going to fall short though, not by much, but I always feel bad when I do. In the big scheme of things, it is all good. My training for the Gold Coast marathon is going well and I am enjoying the long Sunday runs.

It has stopped raining….perhaps I shall head out now….

Pat on the Back

Last week I clocked 47kms. I have a programme I am following for The Gold Coast Marathon so I did the mileage I was supposed to do. By the time I reached Sunday after having my mid week grump session, I was in a better frame of mind which made the second half of the week feel much easier. I set off for my long run on Sunday morning feeling quite alive and ready to tackle some hills. I had chosen a route that is hilly (some quite steep) for the first bit and then a flat return journey. All in all the 16km took me 1:45 and felt like a bad session at the dentist by the time I was nearing home!


As I finished I started to think of reasons why I would be feeling like this. Too little sleep…not that. Didn’t eat well the day before…..wasn’t that either. Bad mood….no, that had all cleared up. I have no idea why I flagged so badly towards the end, and there you have it! Sometimes these things happen.

It got me thinking that the point is not to let it get you down. Some days you will feel strong all the way through and have left over energy at the end of your run. Some days you will start like I did, and finish up feeling like you went 10 rounds in the boxing ring. And some days you won’t feel like doing it at all and the whole run feels like hell, but you do it anyway because¬†you¬†know at the end you can pat yourself on the back for getting out there and sticking to your plan.


I have done just that….patted myself on the back!

Locked and Loaded!

Well it is definitely happening! The accommodation is booked, the flights are booked and the entry fee is paid! Gold Coast Marathon here we come! I even have a new pair of running shoes set aside to pay for as soon as I can. Training has started and tomorrow is my longest run since the Colville race. I am heading out for 14km in the morning and have already done 2 10km runs this week plus 2 shorter ones. So my weekly mileage is ramping up rather quickly.

In my last post I was worried whether I would be ready, worried too which training schedule to follow. My solution was to sleep on it, which always helps, and the conclusion was there in the morning when I woke up. The more traditional programme has space in it to be a bit flexible as the easy run days can be used as rest or cross training days should I wish. So I will be running more in the beginning while the kilometers are lower and as they ramp up I am going to bring some cross training into the mix, plus extra rest days if I need them. Also I am going to continue strength training twice a week and may follow a schedule set out in IronFit (which I just treated myself to).

Maybe I can end up looking like her too!

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: